Influence of musical training on perception of L2 speech

Sadakata, M., Van der Zanden, L., & Sekiyama, K. (2010). Influence of musical training on perception of L2 speech. In Proceedings of the 11th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (Interspeech 2010), Makuhari, Japan (pp. 118-121).
The current study reports specific cases in which a positive transfer of perceptual ability from the music domain to the language domain occurs. We tested whether musical training enhances discrimination and identification performance of L2 speech sounds (timing features, nasal consonants and vowels). Native Dutch and Japanese speakers with different musical training experience, matched for their estimated verbal IQ, participated in the experiments. Results indicated that musical training strongly increases one’s ability to perceive timing information in speech signals. We also found a benefit of musical training on discrimination performance for a subset of the tested vowel contrasts.
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